Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Two for the Show

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Spend the Day with Arnold Lobel

Phyl­lis: Feb­ru­ary is the month of valen­tines and lovers, and we spent a day (through his books) with some­one we love: Arnold Lobel. He wrote easy read­er sto­ries that help chil­dren crack the code of read­ing, give them fun sto­ries with char­ac­ters who remind us of peo­ple we know and that give read­ers of all ages plen­ty to think about.… more

Kari Pearson

Laughing Matters

This month, Jacque­line Brig­gs Mar­tin and Phyl­lis Root, the usu­al hosts of this col­umn, have invit­ed Kari Pear­son to share her rec­om­men­da­tions for fun­ny pic­ture books. Let’s play a game! It’s called Funny/Not Fun­ny. It goes like this: Fun­ny: Eat­ing greasy bloaters with cab­bage-and-pota­­to sog (see: How Tom Beat Cap­tain Najork and His Hired Sports­men) Not Fun­ny: Shov­el­ing gigan­tic snow­drifts out of my dri­ve­way into piles almost as tall as myself.… more

Katy and the Big Snow

Let It Snow!

Phyl­lis: The first real snow has fall­en overnight, and the qual­i­ty of light when I wake up is lumi­nous out­side the win­dow. Sol­stice approach­es, and we’ve turned our thoughts to books about win­ter and snow. So many to choose from! Here are a few. When my grown daugh­ter saw a copy of Katy and the Big Snow by Vir­ginia Lee Bur­ton on my book­shelf, she cried, “Oh!… more

How to Make Apple Pie and See the World

Pie Season

Jack­ie: This is grat­i­tude sea­son and that is a good reminder. Many of us have plen­ty to be grate­ful for and we often for­get that while wait­ing for the next good things. It’s also Pie Sea­son. It is the one time of the year at my house when we have no holds barred on pie. Every­one gets to have a favorite at Thanks­giv­ing.… more

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A Kindle* of Cats

Phyl­lis:  *Even though kin­dle means cats born in the same lit­ter, the allit­er­a­tion was hard to resist. All my work is done in the com­pa­ny of cats,” writes Nico­la Bay­ley, won­der­ful pic­ture book artist and writer, in her book The Nec­es­sary Cat. I know what she means. Right now my cat Luna is sit­ting on the open copy of The Kit­tens’ ABC, clear­ly a cat of dis­cern­ing lit­er­ary taste.… more

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To Bee or Not to Bee

Jack­ie:  It’s good to be back on this blog this month. We took a nec­es­sary break, but can­not be away from talk­ing about books for too long. The pres­sure builds… Phyl­lis is busy writ­ing in the North Woods, so I am bee-side myself with enthu­si­asm for doing this blog. We have a make-shift bird­bath on our deck, next to our hum­ming­bird and ori­ole feed­ers, and this sum­mer the bees have found the bird bath.… more

More, More, More Said the Baby

Our Hearts Will Hold Us Up

Jack­ie: It seems per­fect­ly appro­pri­ate that the Man­ag­er of Hol­i­day Place­ment  has placed Valentine’s Day, a day to cel­e­brate love and affec­tion, right in the mid­dle of cold, dark Feb­ru­ary. I want that cel­e­bra­tion to spread out for the whole month (why not the whole year?) the way the smell of bak­ing bread fills an entire house, not just the kitchen.… more

Night on Neighborhood Street

The Books in the Night

Phyl­lis: Night means many things: the ter­ri­fy­ing dark­ness behind the garage where I had to car­ry the garbage after sup­per as a child, the dark night of the soul that depres­sion brings, the hours between sun­set and sun­rise that grow longer and longer as our earth turns into win­ter. But night holds com­fort as well as fear, and this month we want to look at books about the gifts that night and dark­ness can bring.… more

Doctor De Soto

William Steig and Transmogrification

Jack­ie: After Phyl­lis and I read Amos and Boris for our last month’s arti­cle on boats we both won­dered why we hadn’t looked at the work of William Steig. He so often exe­cutes that very sat­is­fy­ing com­bi­na­tion of humor and heart. Steig’s lan­guage is fun­ny but his sto­ries reg­u­lar­ly involve wor­ri­some sep­a­ra­tion and then return to a lov­ing fam­i­ly.… more

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Coming Home to Safe Harbor

Phyl­lis: This sum­mer I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to sail for a week in Lake Supe­ri­or, so we are turn­ing our thoughts to books about the sea (includ­ing the great inland sea that bor­ders Min­neso­ta, so vast it makes its own weath­er).  If we can’t go sail­ing right now, we can at least read about it in a fleet of good pic­ture books.… more

Lies and Other Tall Tales

A Few Tall Tales from the Land of Rampaging Zucchini

Jack­ie:  Phyl­lis, the zuc­chi­ni seeds you gave me have grown into a plant that knocked on our back door this morn­ing. I gave it cof­fee and it retreat­ed to the yard, head­ing toward the alley. When I was a kid one of my favorite sto­ries was the tall tale of Paul Bun­yan. I laughed at the exag­ger­a­tion, the total wack­i­ness of an ox so large his foot­prints made the Great Lakes.… more

Tomi Ungerer

Tomi Ungerer: Far Out Toward the Heart

Phyl­lis: Tomi Unger­er has writ­ten and illus­trat­ed over 30 books for chil­dren, along with over 100 oth­er books. I didn’t know much about him until Jack­ie sug­gest­ed we do a blog on him, and I’m so glad she did. I came home from the library with a stack of his books, which range wide­ly from the ridicu­lous to the mys­te­ri­ous.… more

Farmer Duck

Gardening and Farming Delights

  Jack­ie: At last — we made it to spring and all the usu­al accou­trements have shown up — lilacs, vio­lets, the smell of apple blos­soms, and thoughts of sprout­ing seeds and grow­ing veg­eta­bles.  How could we not look at pic­ture books about gar­dens and farm­ing this month? I have to con­fess, Phyl­lis, I did not know of Miss Jaster’s Gar­den, writ­ten and illus­trat­ed by N.… more

Boy Who Didn't Believe in Spring

Spring, Where Are You?

Phyl­lis: Each year, as soon as the snow melts, I’m eager to go search for native wild­flow­ers. Two of the ear­li­est flow­ers bloom in two dif­fer­ent pro­tect­ed places a car ride away. And every year, I go too ear­ly — either the ephemer­al snow tril­li­ums aren’t even up yet or the pasque flow­ers are still such tiny, tight, fur­ry brown buds that they’re hard to spot in the dried grass on the hill­side where they grow.… more